Recycled Magazine Butterfly Garland

Make a pretty butterfly garland from old magazine pages. A simple and easy upcycling idea.

upcycled magazine butterfly garland

It's Pinterest Challenge time again, when I join in with a group of bloggers and we each pick something from our Pinterest boards and actually give it a go. The Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop is hosted by My Pinterventures

This month I've been inspired by this 'Butterfly Craft from Magazine Pages' which I saw over at There's Just One Mommy.


I love a good recycling or upcycling project so this is right up my street! These butterflies are made from whole magazine pages so are quite big. I decided to make some mini butterflies and turn them into a garland. 

I experimented with a few different sizes of paper to get a good size for a garland and also simplified the bottom wings a little from the original idea. 

To make your own recycled magazine butterfly garland you will need: 

  • An old magazine

  • Embroidery thread, cord or string

  • Scissors

  • A tapestry needle - a big needle with a large eye

Cut the magazine into squares, to make a 115cm (45”) garland you'll want:

  • 10 x 8cm (3”) square and

  • 10 x 6cm (2.25”) square

what you need.png

Take one of the larger squares and fold it in half then concertina each half.

Fold in half and pinch firmly in the middle. 

Folding paper butterfly wings

Take one of the smaller squares and round off the corners (you can do this on a pile of these at a time) then concertina that too. Then fold it in half and pinch as before.

folding paper butterflies

Place the 2 wings together, then wrap a length of embroidery thread round a few times then tie in a double knot at the top and trim to make little antennae.     

recycled magazine butterfly

Make a load more! I made 10 in total.

pile of butterflies.png

To turn this lovely pile of butterflies into a garland cut a long length of embroidery thread or string and thread onto your tapestry needle. Mine was about 120cm (47”) and my garland ended up approx 115cm (45”)

Starting at the bottom of the garland poke the needle through the wrapped thread at the bottom of a butterfly and make a stitch, leaving a long tail for tying the garland up. Then bring the thread up the side of the butterfly and make another stitch through the wrapped thread at the top - this is hard to describe, look at the photos, hopefully they will help! 

recycled magazine butterfly garland

Originally I thought I would be able to sew the embroidery thread right through the butterflies, It turned out that was too tough for me to get a needle through. 

You can just tie the butterflies to a cord, thread or string but I found that when I tried that they turned in all different directions. You may like that so if the direction of your butterflies doesn't matter to you then just tie the at intervals to your thread, that's MUCH quicker and easier. 

If however, if like me, you DO want your butterflies all facing the same way, the 'stitch top and bottom'  method described above is the only one I found that worked. Maybe a dob of glue on each one might hold them in place?

Then all you need to do is hang your recycled magazine page butterfly garland somewhere and admire it's loveliness! 

Recycled paper butterfly garland

This is the mirror in our daughter's room, if you want to see how to recreate the cross stitch mural you can see in the reflection on her wall you can find it here.

I had a couple of spare butterflies from my garland so I’ve been using them as sweet little embellishments on gift bags.

recycled paper butterfly gift tag
recycled magazine butterfly garland
new sig 1.png

Now let's see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!

Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop

Erlene - My Pinterventures  •  Alexandra - Eye Love Knots Joanne - Our Unschooling Journey  •  Laurie - My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies Jenny - Cookies Coffee and Crafts  •  Kristie - Teadoodles Beverly - Across the Boulevard  •  Katrin - Kreativ K Debra - Shoppe No. 5  •  Gail - Purple Hues and Me •  April - Stampin Fool Chelsea - Making Manzanita  Julie - Sum of their Stories  •  T'onna - Sew Crafty Crochet Michelle - Our Crafty Mom  •  Lisa - Blogghetti Marie - The Inspiration Vault  •  Kelley - Simply Inspired Meals Debbee - Debbee's Buzz  •  Shirley - Intelligent Domestications Habiba - Craftify My Love  •  Marci - Stone Cottage Adventures Kenyatta - My Design Rules  •  Kelli - The Olympic Nest Roseann - This Autoimmune Life  •  Terri - Our Good Life Leslie - Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After Lydia - Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen